History of NAMI-Colorado Springs:
NAMI-CS, formerly Pikes Peak Alliance for the Mentally Ill, was begun in 1983 by Stella Colby and Julie Foster, two mothers who had children with mental illness. Through the years NAMI-CS has sought to educate the public that mental illnesses are physical brain disorders; has attempted to alleviate the stigma associated with mental illness; has provided support for families; and has been a voice to improve services for those living with mental illness.
History of NAMI-Colorado:
Founded in 1980, NAMI Colorado developed as a grassroots effort in response to deinstitutionalization. Family members of adults released from institutions lacked knowledge and resources to assist their ill family members appropriately. Community mental health centers had neither the expertise nor the funding to develop necessary family support services. NAMI Colorado worked to fill these gaps and to complement existing services by organizing support groups and providing family/consumer education about mental health issues. Additionally, NAMI Colorado provides information to state legislators and others who can affect public policy on behalf of persons with mental illness.
NAMI Colorado programs are driven by volunteers. NAMI Colorado’s supporting members include families, individuals living with mental illness, friends, advocates, and understanding professionals. NAMI Colorado is a chartered member of NAMI – a nationwide, nonprofit, support, education and advocacy organization representing about 200,000 members.